Not being able to hear can pose many challenges for people who were born deaf, people who have developed hearing loss after injury or illness, people who lose their hearing over time. But there are many medical treatments, assistive devices, and therapies for those with hearing loss that may improve their communication abilities.
These options often include things like treating the symptoms of hearing loss or helping those with permanent hearing loss better adjust to the world. Continue reading to learn more about hearing loss, including how to treat it and tips for living with it.
Hearing loss is a term that refers to the inability to hear sounds, either completely or partially. If you have hearing loss, it likely means that you cannot recognize, understand, or react to sounds.
There are different levels of hearing loss:
- Mild: You can hear most speech but struggle with hearing soft sounds.
- Moderate: You struggle to hear and understand speech at a normal level. You may be considered hard of hearing.
- Severe: You cannot hear speech at normal levels but you can hear loud sounds.
- Profound: You may only be able to hear very loud sounds but no speech. Profound hearing loss is usually referred to as deafness.
Being hard of hearing is not quite the same as deafness, though the two share similarities. If you’re deaf, you typically have significant or total hearing loss and cannot hear any sounds.
If you are considered hard of hearing, you typically experience mild to moderate hearing loss conditions where sounds are muffled and challenging to decipher. You may gradually develop hearing loss, known as presbycusis, and may eventually be considered either deaf or hard of hearing.
There are three main categories of hearing loss, each of which differs in severity, causes and symptoms.
- Conductive Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss happens when damage to the outer or middle ear prevents sound waves from being able to travel to the inner ear and hearing nerve. There may be a foriegn object in the ear canal, or it may be blocked by a substance, like ear wax or fluid.
Injuries to the eardrum, physical abnormalities in the ear, and more can cause conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is most commonly found in children, and when someone has it from birth, it’s known as congenital hearing loss.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the hearing nerve suffers damage. It’s the most common form of hearing loss. It can occur due to a number of situations, including:
- Age-related factors
- Drug use
- Inherited conditions
- Environmental factors
In general, sensorineural hearing loss is not typically treatable with surgery. However, many people who experience this type of hearing loss use hearing aids to improve their communication abilities.
- Mixed Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss refers to issues with the inner ear and middle or outer ear. People with mixed hearing loss typically have sensorineural hearing loss and may later develop a conductive hearing loss condition, too.
By Admin –